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Messenger to merge back with Facebook after 9 years

By NICK GARCIA Published Mar 08, 2023 7:25 pm

Messenger will be part of Facebook again after it was turned into a separate app almost a decade ago, the social media giant announced on March 7.

"We are testing the ability for people to access their Messenger inbox within the Facebook app and you’ll see us expand this testing soon," Facebook Head Tom Alison wrote in a blog post.

Messenger was turned into a separate app in 2014, with Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg explaining that it's for it to become "the best mobile messaging experience possible."

Alison said they'll also build more ways to integrate messaging features in Facebook in the coming year.

"Ultimately, we want it to be easy and convenient for people to connect and share, whether in the Messenger app or directly within Facebook," he said.

In the blog post, Alison also discussed Facebook's goal to invest in artificial intelligence-powered discovery this year.

He cited as example Reels, noting how AI recommends all types of content beyond Reels like photos, text, groups, and short- and long-form videos.

"This is a massive technological undertaking and AI-powered recommendations are delivered and refined in response to people’s direct feedback through tools like our Show More or Show Less feature," Alison said, adding they also have safeguards to ensure recommendations aren't harmful and don’t go against community standards.

In line with the intention to bring back Messenger to Facebook, Alison also said using AI will make it easier for people to share what they discover via messaging without needing to switch to another app.

Facebook is also looking to support content creators more by rolling out more formats for creative expression, providing tools to help grow and manage fan communities, and expanding ways to earn income.

"We’ll continue expanding our ads on Facebook Reels tests to help more creators earn ad revenue for their Reels and grow virtual gifting via Stars on Reels," it said.

These goals are seen as Facebook's measures to better compete with rival platform TikTok.

Alison also pointed out that Facebook isn't dead nor dying based on reports that supposedly say so, noting the platform has two billion daily active users.